Song of the Day: Anna Calvi “Don’t Beat The Girl Out of My Boy”
Just as I was thinking that the summer had yet to present us with a truly great pop song, I happened to hear Anna Calvi‘s most recent single “Don’t Beat The Girl Out of My Boy” and was absolutely floored. Calvi is something of a guitar-slinging throwback: equal parts Phil Spector, David Byrne, Pj Harvey and Marianne Faithful. Calvi not only has an absolute banshee wail of a voice but can also absolutely shred on the guitar. Add some powerful, if slightly left-field, songwriting chops and it all adds up to an incredible triple threat.
I was discussing this song with my friend Charles the other day, and he wisely had this to say about it:
“This single ought to be No. 1 in some parallel universe – a universe that’s like Fassbinder‘s World on a Wire but with better drugs.”
Anna Calvi was born Anna Margaret Michelle Calvi in London in 1980. She struggled mightily in early life, spending most of her first three years in a hospital undergoing treatment and surgeries to correct congenital hip dysplasia. She states that much of the time she spent in hospital was formative towards her forging a strong relationship with music. She studied music in university and worked as a guitar teacher following graduation, all the while working on her own music.
Her career took off in 2010 when she was signed to Domino records. She released her first single, a brilliant cover of the bizarre ’50s country ballad “Jezebel” and a support slot supporting Nick Cave‘s hard rocking Grinderman project. She has also collaborated with a number of acts, including a well-received duet with David Byrne.